Configurable Space

Room View 94 – from Craig Harris’ Configurable Space project. Photo by Marion Gray © 1992

Artistic Director Craig Harris launched a long term research and design project in 1987 entitled Configurable Space, exploring future creative work environments, the creative process,and the use of new technological resources to support creativity, and artistic project development and production.

Configurable Space is directed towards the development of a balanced understanding about how we use the visual, aural, tactile, and configurable capabilities of digital technologies, and how the tools developed affect ways that we think, feel, formulate, and develop on intellectual, spiritual, and emotional planes. The fundamental premise hypothesizes that it is possible to develop integrated technological resources that would deepen our understanding of ourselves, and that these comprehensive resources would facilitate communication on deeper levels in a conscious and purposeful manner.

Configurable Space is built upon the simulation of future creative environments using any available technology that could be used to support the illusion that the implied resources already exist. The simulations incorporate representations of interactive computer display tables, walls, and holographic images, within a multi-dimensional sound environment. This creates the context for exploring relevant issues and for imagining how the space might be used in actual circumstances. The simulations represent ongoing research and artistic explorations, probing the creative process, and the relationship between artists and new technologies. In Configurable Space the artist dynamically constructs the total environment and the creative tools to suit specific requirements. In addition to advancing the understanding of our use of new technologies in a variety of human endeavors, the goal of this initiative was to influence the development of technological resources, and to interfere with a development trend that reinforces limited perspectives of how we use these tools.

San Francisco-based photographer Marion Gray captured Craig Harris’ work on Configurable Space, and her photographs have become part of many hybrid performance-presentations and gallery exhibitions, and have been incorporated into several journal articles, book chapters, and international conference proceedings. Marion took over five hundred photographs during multiple sessions working in the constructed environment, using sketches on transparencies, colored gels, slide projections, and live drawing. These images capture various perspectives of room views and close images, documenting the sketching and representation process, the evolving environmental characteristics and the resource requirements during the evolution of a music composition. The composition was based on the creation and expression of the sonic world described above. The original installation was constructed primarily for the purpose of creating the initial collection of slides and photographs, and not as a public art installation. The creative context emulates a non-real time studio shooting process, resembling a procedure which one would go through to create a series of animated sequences of visual material.

Room View 94, from the Configurable Space Project (Photograph)

“Room View 94” – Photograph of Craig Harris’ Configurable Space project by Marion Gray © 1992

Room View 32, from the Configurable Space Project (Photograph)

“Room View 32” – Photograph of Craig Harris’ Configurable Space project by Marion Gray © 1992

Room Talk 1, from the Configurable Space Project (Photograph)

“Room Talk 1” – Photograph from Craig Harris’ Configurable Space project by Marion Gray © 1992

Configurable Space VII, from the Configurable Space Project (Photograph)

Configurable Space VII – Photograph from Craig Harris’ Configurable Space project by Marion Gray © 1992


Learn more about the Configurable Space Project.

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